RI's Largest Clean Marina New England Boatworks Tackles Global Problem Locally
When New England Boatworks (NEB) was crowned the largest "Clean Marina" in a ceremony on May 5, it was surely statewide news. But Volvo Ocean Race Skipper Charlie Enright of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, who spoke at the ceremony, reminded everyone in the audience that what NEB is doing goes well beyond the borders of Rhode Island: "We have the opportunity to start chipping away at a global problem right here, on a local level."
Coordinated by RI Coastal Resources Management Council, the Clean Marina program is a voluntary initiative designed to reward RI marinas that go beyond regulatory requirements by applying innovative, pollution-prevention practices to their daily operations.
NEB also took an additional step and worked with Clean Ocean Access and funder 11th Hour Racing to install a Trash Skimmer at its fuel dock. The Skimmer both reduces marine debris and generates awareness about the types of debris found in the water; two identical Skimmers placed in Newport Harbor collected over 6,000 pounds of debris in only four months.
NEB has been getting kudos and grabbing headlines for their efforts--in the Newport Daily News, East Bay RI, and the trade media. Earlier this week, Governor Gina Raimondo stopped by the yard to congratulate NEB Owner Tom Rich and his team.
If you are a RI marina that wants to do your part to keep the environment clean and attract customers to whom being Green is important, access the Clean Marina guidelines Here. If you want to explore having a Trash Skimmer at your location, contact Clean Ocean Access Executive Director Dave McLaughlin.
NEB is only the fifth marina in RI to gain the Clean Marina distinction, and both its size and diversity make the achievement commendable: their 28.75 acres of land and 8.5 acres of boat basin include a boat-building division; a full-service marina; and a haul-out, storage and service facility.
But in accepting the award, NEB's Tom Rich boiled down the effort to something very simple: "I would like to see more marinas in our state get onboard and become Clean Marinas. The harbors, the Bay, the ocean: they are what we live on, what we play on, and how we make our living. It is important that we take care of them."